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Match report: Giants take top spot with ease

Highlights: Brisbane Lions v GWS The Lions and Giants clash in round 14
BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA - JUNE 24: Steve Johnson   of the giants celebrates kicking a goal  during the 2017 AFL round 14 match between the Brisbane Lions and the GWS Giants at the Gabba on June 24, 2017 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Jason O'Brien/AFL Media)
Steve Johnson was lively up forward against the Lions

GREATER Western Sydney made light work of the Brisbane Lions at the Gabba on Saturday night, storming to the top of the table with a 60-point win.

In his 100th game Dylan Shiel starred, collecting 24 of his game-high 38 disposals in the decisive first half on the way to the Giants' 22.14 (146) to 12.14 (86) victory.

Full match coverage and stats 

It was a poor night for the Lions who lost skipper Dayne Beams in the opening minute with a left shoulder injury

Beams was on the wrong end of a huge – and totally legal – bump by hulking ruckman Shane Mumford that left him limp on the ground and unable to return.

Five talking points: Brisbane Lions v Greater Western Sydney

Lions coach Chris Fagan said post-match that he expected Beams to play again this season.

In Heath Shaw's 250th, the Giants showed no signs of post-bye rust and dealt comfortably with their lowly opponent.

WATCH: Plenty of biffs, bumps and bruises

They led by five points at the first change and then put the foot down, kicking six goals in the second quarter and then burying the Lions with nine in the third.

But Giants coach Leon Cameron was critical of his team's final quarter, saying some players got "ahead of themselves".

"For three quarters we were good, we were definitely the better team, but we were really, really ordinary in the last quarter," he said

"Concentration, not fatigue, it's concentration - and probably just some players getting ahead of themselves.  

"You've got a side that's one down - their captain, their superstar - Sam Reid did an outstanding job on (Dayne) Zorko, so their two biggest prime movers, and they kicked five goals to three (four) in the last quarter."

With Shiel on fire in the midfield, the forward line took full advantage.

Jonathon Patton was sensational, crashing packs and taking 13 strong marks, six of them contested, on his way to four goals. 

Jeremy Cameron also kicked four, as did Toby Greene, who beat two opponents in Nick Robertson and Darcy Gardiner in a clever 20-disposal performance.

Callan Ward (28) and Lachie Whitfield (29) were also busy, but as Cameron alluded to, it was Reid that enhanced his reputation with a brilliant shutdown role of Lions midfielder Zorko.

Zorko has averaged 27 disposals a game in 2017 and kicked 18 goals, but he was almost invisible as Reid kept him to just five disposals – all in the first half - while having 17 himself and kicking two goals. 

The class difference between the two teams was large. 

Every time the Lions made a mistake – and they made plenty – the Giants pounced with quick transition. 

To the Lions' credit, they fought hard and won the last quarter when the margin looked like blowing out beyond three figures.

"For us, winning quarters against good opposition is a really important part of our development and to be able to do that when it looked like we were on the ropes and ready to be absolutely smashed was one of the really pleasing aspects of the game," Fagan said

"On the scoreboard we lost by 10 goals, but we had lots of little wins." 

The performance of the young brigade pleased Fagan, with debutant Alex Witherden particularly impressive.

The No.23 draft pick from last year finished with 20 disposals at 75 per cent efficiency, while fellow draftees Hugh McCluggage (19) and Jarrod Berry (18) also impressed.

Rhys Mathieson stepped up in Beams' absence, busting his backside all night to finish with a career-high 32 disposals.

MEDICAL ROOM
Brisbane Lions: With Mitch Robinson and Allen Christensen already out for the season, they'll be sweating on the outcome of Beams' scans on Monday. Tom Bell broke his leg in a NEAFL game earlier in the day, meaning the Lions are starting to lose a few of their mature bodies.

Greater Western Sydney: Youngster Tim Taranto went off in the final quarter with a shin injury. Coach Leon Cameron described it as a "corkie" post match, but expected him to be available next week. Cameron also said he'd be "really disappointed" if match-eve withdrawal Josh Kelly (hip) also wasn't available next week. 

NEXT UP
The Giants should face a much sterner test of their premiership credentials next week when they host Geelong at Spotless Stadium on Saturday night. The Lions will travel to Melbourne to play Essendon at Etihad Stadium next Sunday.

BRISBANE LIONS   2.4   4.5    7.10    12.14     (86)                  
GWS                         3.3   9.8   18.11    22.14   (146)          
 

GOALS
Brisbane Lions: Lester 2, Smith 2, Bastinac 2, Hipwood, Taylor, Martin, Cutler, McStay, Berry
GWS: Greene 4, Patton 4, Cameron 4, Johnson 2, Reid 2, Shiel, Himmelberg, Taranto, Ward, Williams, Lloyd 

BEST
Brisbane Lions: Mathieson, Rockliff, Witherden, Berry, McCluggage, Taylor
GWS: Shiel, Patton, Reid, Greene, Whitfield, Ward, Cameron 

INJURIES
Brisbane Lions: D.Beams (shoulder)
GWS: Taranto (shin) 

Reports: Nil 

Umpires: Haussen, Deboy, Chamberlain 

Official crowd: 11,455 at the Gabba

Giant Heath Shaw is chaired off following his 250th AFL game. Picture: AFL Photos